In many women's lives, there are certain milestones we hit while growing up: graduating from high school, getting a degree, completing a marathon, landing your first real big girl job, and entering into the complicated world of dating. But one of the most important and life-changing aspects of those is having the man of their dreams down on one knee, presenting a glistening diamond as they ask for their hand in marriage.
With so much weighing on our perfect idea of happily ever after, the whole proposal part is kind of a big deal. It's what we've been waiting for, so until that moment comes, we can live vicariously in the heartwarming proposal stories that just make us want to sit in a corner of a room and bawl happy tears. Here are 15 real-life proposal stories that will most definitely tug at your heart strings.
15 I Conversation-Heart You
"My fiancé and I had been dating a little over three years and he took me to one of our regular date spots for dinner. As dessert came out, so did a little plate with five Valentine’s Day conversation hearts that read ‘I love you, real love, marry me, say yes, soul mates.’ I still didn't get it. I thought the restaurant was just being sweet and romantic as it was a week before Valentine's Day. My fiancé asked me if I read them. I started to read them out loud to him and from the corner of my eye I saw him get down on one knee. When I looked over, he was crying and asked, ‘will you marry me?’ I responded ‘are you serious???’ with tons of excitement. Then, we stood up and kissed and the whole restaurant started clapping and cheering! As we sat back down, all of a sudden my little sister and her fiancé walked in. She surprised me and flew in from across the country! My fiancé knew that she's the first person I’d want to see right after that!
I wanted to call my parents immediately, but they were overseas on vacation and I couldn't get through! I tried my entire family and no one picked up! Then he suggested we get a get a celebratory drink somewhere and I said we had to go to the spot we first met at 3 1/2 years ago! We got in an uber and the four of us headed there. When we walked in my fiancé pulled me upstairs to this private area and there were 45 of our closest friends and our families who had flown in from various places and once everyone parted off to the side I saw my parents who had flown back 26.5 hours and surprised us there." - theluckiest
"It was a freezing cold Friday in the middle of January in NYC when a musician and a graphic designer got engaged. He told her that he was taking her to a super exclusive unadvertised U2 concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg. He said his friend in the music industry gave him her tickets, since she couldn't go, and asked them not to tell anyone about it because of how secret it was. And so they dressed up and took a taxi to Music Hall of Williamsburg. Upon arrival, they were greeted at the window by a woman who crossed their names off a list. They walked inside and were given a wristband by a security guard who told them to 'enjoy the show.' They walked inside to find a completely empty Music Hall of Williamsburg, except for a string quartet playing a beautiful instrumental piece on stage, bathed in twinkling lights. He turned to her and and told her that there is no U2 concert, 'that this is it, five years are up,' something they had joked about from the beginning.
Being on a five year plan. He got down on one knee and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and popped open a box with the sparkler inside. Next to the ring was a thin gold wedding band, belonging to her favorite grandmother who had passed away many years ago and had left the ring for her, for when the time came. He had it resized to fit in between the two bands of the ring so that they could be worn together as one when they get married. The song the quartet played on stage was a song he had composed specifically for this moment. After floods of tears, the security guard and check-in girl emerged. They had both been in on it and a lighting guy had even been hired for dramatic effect! As the two left, she had begged to call her mother, and he asked if she could wait to start calling people until they had a celebratory drink at the Wythe Hotel, where he had made a reservation. Upon arriving, more happy tears were shed as her mother, father, younger brother and his girlfriend were seated at a table in the back with a bottle of champagne ready and waiting." -U24Life
13 What a catch
“The moment both of us realized we had a thing for each other was when we both slacked off together from work. We were RA's in college and were supposed to escort a bunch of our residents to the first football game of the season. Me and her agreed to gather up residents together and go, despite both of us hating football. Only problem was, none of our residents wanted to go and we couldn't exactly force them. So we set out alone. But, walking towards the stadium, I spied a dirt path leading up a hill, away from the stadium, and I asked her if she was up for an adventure. We explored, found a large field and sat around talking.
A couple years later, we had gone to feed the ducks (she was very excited, we planned it for a long time). Afterwards, we were driving back to my apartment and were passing through the college, not far from the football stadium. I looked at her and she looked back at me and I asked her again if she was up for an adventure. She smiled and said yes. Once more, we went up that dirt path, back to the field that we found. In that field was a bridge, and we found that hilarious, because the bridge was maybe three feet long and two feet wide. It existed to span a very small crevice and really seemed pointless. We sat on that silly, pointless bridge, in the field we fell for each other and I pulled the ring box out of my pocket and asked her to marry me.” - Footballfanatic
12 The Six-year itch
"They met at a shack that sells chicken and beer on the side of the road in the Dominican Republic. Hanna had a two-year international teaching contract, and upon meeting each other, Christopher immediately decided to stay as well. After their fourth date, he texted her 'window or aisle?' She texted back 'window!' They had their fifth date in the British Virgin Islands. While there and laying in bed, looking out at the Italian-ice colored ocean outside the beach cottages' French doors, they both realized at the same moment that this was it. Apprehensively, Hanna said 'Please do not propose right now.' So he waited six years, brought her back to the same exact spot in the BVIs on a surprise New Year’s trip, and proposed in the ocean right outside the cottage." - SmittenKitten
11 After school special
"It was the Monday after I ran the Long Island Half Marathon. I woke up still exhausted from those 13 miles that my legs carried me through the day before. I'm an eighth grade English teacher and just kept thinking, 'In nine periods you'll be home for a nap. Just get through nine periods.' Sixth period rolled around and in my school, we are lucky enough to integrate English and Social Studies. I figured this would be a good time for a quick bathroom break before my seventh period class. While finishing up, I could hear people talking in the hallway. I assumed that because it was May, it had to be the custodians preparing to turn on the air-conditioning. As I opened the door, I was staring back at someone I knew: my partner, Ron's brother's girlfriend. She was holding a video camera and while my brain tried to process why she was standing in my hallway, I heard a man yelling my principal’s name. The man in my hallway was Ron! IT WAS RON! It's pretty safe to say I contemplated every illogical thought as to why he was standing in front of me.
My principal's secretary and Ron's sister were also standing behind me taking pictures as I repeated the question, ‘What are you doing here?’ Ron held my hand as we walked towards my classroom. Mrs. Rodahan, my principal, was carrying a bouquet of a dozen blood red roses. As we walked into my classroom, I began to cry. Ron introduced himself to my 40 curious students. I listened as he commanded the floor and my students would start to realize what was happening. This would become the greatest surprise of my life. Ron asked all of my students to stand at the front of the class, facing me, and handed two of them a sign to be unraveled in his cue. In front of 40 students and four adults, he took my hand, told me how much he loved me, and bent down on one knee as his sign would be opened to read, ‘Ms. Ariel, Will You Marry Me?’... and of course, I said YES!" - Jennifer N. Ariel
“Two days before the proposal, my best friend Paige, who lives in Atlanta, told me she was flying in that weekend for work. I didn't think anything of it. Joe had told me he had to work that Saturday night, so I of course, wanted to get dinner and drinks with my best friend in downtown West Palm Beach. We got all dressed up and left for dinner and things were getting pretty weird during the drive there. Everything she was saying wasn't adding up. It turns out she was just stalling so Joe could get to the proposal site. We get down there and she asks if we can take a picture down by the water. So I go and I was kind of annoyed because it was Florida in May and VERY hot outside! We walked to the end of the dock to take the picture, and I turn around and Paige doesn't join me. Then, I hear someone walking up behind me and I turn around and it was Joe! He had a dozen pink roses in his hand and I immediately started crying. I knew what was happening. I honestly can't even tell you what Joe said during the proposal because I was so overcome with emotions and tears. But after a few minutes he got down on one knee and proposed with the most GORGEOUS ring. I of course said yes while balling my eyes out. It was absolutely perfect in every way. I then turned around and saw my family walking up behind me snapping pictures and I had no clue they were there! I was so happy they could witness the best moment of my life. And turns out Paige wasn't there for a work meeting, Joe had her fly in for the proposal. Best friend EVER and best fiancé ever!!!" — Kelsey Shinn
9 The greatest finish
"Technically, you can say we met on Facebook. Our parents made an effort to set us up, but it stopped after his dad said, ‘You'd be a perfect fit for my son! But, oh, he hates when I set him up with Greek girls so you have to call him!’ Well, I ended up friending him on Facebook like a huge creep and the rest is history! Prior to meeting Stavros, I completed two marathons and a few half marathons. After we met, he said he wanted to ‘get into running’ so naturally I told him we should sign up for a half marathon together. We started running them in March/April so we could begin training around the new year to make a New Year's resolution out of it. For our third half marathon together, we chose the Sly Fox Half Marathon in St. Charles because the first two we ran were in Chicago and we wanted to do something a little different this year. Plus, it fit perfectly in our March/April timeframe. Little did I know, Stavros had something else in mind. I was so completely surprised about the proposal. I told Stavros I envisioned our proposal being more private. It ended up being the complete opposite! All of our close friends and family were there and it wound up being AMAZING. I couldn't have pictured it any other way. It was like a fairytale." — Monica Kucera
8 Pure beach bliss
"Nick got my father involved in the proposal. He had dad tell me we had a work meeting in Santa Barbara. So Dad and I drove up to Santa Barbara and stopped at our family's beach house at Rincon Point, saying he had to pick something up. I went inside to grab the missing item and found red roses and a note. The note showed me a map to the beach. I ran so fast. When I got to the beach, there were roses lined in the sand with pictures of us starting from the very beginning of our relationship and ending with a picture of our church. I followed the roses and found him. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and asked if we could ‘change the world together.’ I said yes and immediately knelt down to hug him before he even had a chance to put the ring on my finger. It was perfect. Then he surprised me with having a nice outfit picked out to go to dinner with my family and his to celebrate." - Diana Sala
7 London love
"It has been my dream to travel in Europe. We were trying to save for a house, however I had my mind set on traveling, which my partner Bill didn't really want to. He allowed me to go over with a girlfriend and do a tour. We had one week in London with no plans, Bill saw his perfect opportunity and sent me a message saying 'in two days you must be at Hyde Park, by the round pond for a surprise.' I thought deep down how lovely it would be if it was him, but I couldn't see him justifying the money to go over when he always said no. As I ran through Hyde Park, I looked up and saw Bill standing by a tree. It was emotional and I gave him the biggest hug. Yet, the moment didn't stop there. He walked me through a garden tunnel in Kensington Gardens and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. It was the most perfect proposal. Bill is not romantic, but he saw his perfect opportunity." — Casey Hiskens
6 There's always Paris
"My proposal was so thought-out and perfect, it is something you would read about in a fairy tale! I went to college in Paris and the city is a huge part of who I am. My fiancé had never been before so we planned a trip. We had been planning the trip for a year so I didn't think a proposal would happen since we had our days completely planned out, but leave it to Ken to surprise me. The weather was touch and go while we were there with typical Paris showers so we had to reschedule a few of our afternoons for earlier in the week. One of which was a private boat tour on La Seine.
We rescheduled our boat tour for the same day we were having dinner at Le Cinq, so Ken thought it would be best if we dressed up for the boat tour and then went straight to dinner for a cocktail before. As we are driving to our boat tour, our driver asked if he could drop us off on one side of the Pont Bir-Hakeim bridge and we could walk to the boat on the other side. Yes, even the driver was in on the proposal! We got out and as we are walking across the bridge, Ken stops and turned to me and dropped down on one knee. I was completely shocked! To top it all off, he had hired a photographer to capture every second and take our engagement photos later in the week in Paris! After a few photos, we hopped on the boat and sailed down La Seine. It was truly the most romantic and thoughtful proposal and it still gives me goosebumps." — Jodi Sparrow
5 Where’s the Wii?
“I planned on proposing to my girlfriend for a while. I went out and looked at rings and found the perfect one and waited for the jeweler to call me back and tell me it was ready. He said it would be a few weeks. He called me back three days later and said it was ready. I didn't expect it to be so soon and I was antsy so I wanted to propose sooner than I expected to. Now, let’s rewind a little bit. She wanted a Nintendo Wii for Christmas, BAD. My buddy had a Wii so I asked him if I could borrow the box to put the ring into it to completely surprise her. I weighted the Wii box down a bit with magazines and put the ring, which had a small box, inside.
I called her and told her I wanted to take her to a nice dinner. I already had reservations and they knew I was going to propose so they put us in the nicest part of the restaurant. When we got there, I was pretty nervous and told her I think I forgot my wallet in the car. I went out and brought in a bag with the dummy Wii in it. Her first question was why I was having her open her Christmas present so early. It was November 30. I told her to just open it and she lit up with excitement. I told her to open it and see what it looked like. She opened it up to find no Wii and a bunch of magazines until she spotted the ring box. She opened it up, I got on one knee, she said yes. She cried, hugged, and kissed me and it was glorious. But she also wanted to know if there was also a Wii." - Subwaycookie
4 Comic-Con craziness
“After being together three years and doing long distance for the past two, I had come up to visit him for the weekend and we were going to go to Comic-Con together. We were supposed to get pictures with one of our favorite actors from this cool sci-fi show and I had been emailing the photographers and the Comic-Con people to try to set it up so I could propose in the middle of the pictures and supposedly everything was all worked out. But when we got there that day and I snuck off to check in with them, no one there knew what I was talking about. It was also super packed and when we were waiting for the pictures, they were rushing people through pretty fast.
I was debating the whole time whether to just do it or not, but when we got in there they like shoved us in place and snapped a picture before I could even smile and then they quickly shoved us out. Honestly, I was pretty annoyed that I didn't get to do the cool proposal since I had a whole speech prepared. So after that, he could tell I was annoyed but he wasn't sure why. So then I took him over by this pretty pond river area near the convention and started talking rambling and then I dropped to one knee and gave him the ring. He was super happy and loved the ring box I made and the ring I had made for him and immediately took a million pictures to post on Facebook. We were both in full costume from the Con. I know it's untraditional for the woman to propose, but he basically made it clear that he was ready to get married for a while and I had to catch up so it was kind of like a 'whenever you are ready' type of thing. He also thought it was really romantic that I proposed and all the details, I told him about what I had planned later, too.” -Crazy4Comics
3 Up, up and away
“So my fiancé and I love the movie UP and we had been together for three years. I came home one morning post-workout and my fiancé says he was going to go into the office and do some work. This was very odd for him to do this on a weekend. I started to run the water for a shower, but ALAS! I hear a faint bit of music and decide to go investigate. I traveled down the hallway and the music gets louder and I hear that it is 'Married Life" from the UP soundtrack. I knew something was up! In our living room, there were a TON of balloons and sitting on the chair just like the movie is an adventure book. At this point, I'm crying a bit and I picked up the book to page through it. Inside of the book are ticket stubs, brochures, hotel keys, plane tickets, all from our very first dates, and current stuff too. This man SAVED all of these treasures for YEARS and hid them away.
So of course I'm bawling like an idiot on our couch and Mr. Fiancé is nowhere to be found. I manage to squeak out, ‘Nick... are you here??’ And out he comes OUT OF NOWHERE wearing the EXACT shirt he wore on our first date, along with the corduroy jacket he was wearing the night we met. So then he gets down on one knee and asks me the question that changed my life, all while the soundtrack to the world's most adorable love story is playing the background. It was magical. I love that man so much.” -UpUpandAway
2 Key to my heart
“My fiancé proposed on our seventh anniversary at an escape room. He arranged to have the staff open at a time they normally wouldn't for us and a couple of friends. The guide on duty that afternoon told us we had to ‘get going’ because they had a large group coming in after us. In reality, they had reserved their lounge for us to relax and enjoy our newly-engaged selves. After 45 minutes of trying our hand at some challenging puzzles, we finally had the code to open the final lock box that should have the key inside for us to ‘escape.’ My guy entered the code, and the box popped open. He handed me an envelope that said ‘The Final Piece.’ I reached inside to grab the key. Where's the key? There’s no key. But twinkling up at me was a gorgeous engagement ring. I looked up and saw my best friend crying, her boyfriend holding her, and my guy smiling. He put his arms around me and whispered, ‘I'm sorry this took so long. Will you marry me?’ I don't remember saying yes, though I've been assured I did. I remember crying what I can only imagine were big, ugly, raccoon-eyed tears. I was given the REAL key, and we exited the room, and heard, ‘So I guess it was a yes!’ from our guide. The lovely staff gave us a bottle of champagne to celebrate with later. -blushberry4
1 A magical proposal
“We are both big Disney World fans. We took a weeklong vacation there, and on our fourth day, we took a break from the parks for some spa time and general relaxation. That evening, we had dinner and on the way out of the restaurant, we were greeted by someone dressed as a Disney cast member. The ‘cast member’ invited us to take part in a Disney promotion and all we had to do was just had to take part in a short treasure hunt. My then girlfriend eagerly accepted, and soon we were down on the beach near the Seven Seas Lagoon. We found a star in the sand, and dug up a small treasure chest that had been shallowly buried. Inside was an electric candle and a note because I didn't trust them with the ring. I took a knee and gave my speech, perfectly timed with those reliable wishes fireworks. She smiled and said yes. It was perfect.” -MinnieLuvsMickey
*Stories have been edited for length and clarity